Hillsboro wrestlers win second regional in school history

Eureka-Regionals-2-15-08-(8.jpg
Eureka-Regionals-2-15-08-(8.jpg

Alex Jost finishes off an opponent on his way to qualifying for his second berth in the state tournament. Jost will meet Herington?s John Redetzke in the first round at Busch-Gross Coliseum on the Fort Hays State University campus Friday.

Aside from finding a winning lottery ticket lying in the gutter on the way to the parking lot, it?s hard to imagine a weekend that could have gone much better for the Hillsboro wrestling team than this one did at Eureka.

Eight Trojans qualified for the state tournament, the team took first place and coach Scott O?Hare came home with the 3-2-1A regional coach-of-the-year award.

?I am obviously very proud of these guys for winning the regional title, which is only the second one in school history,? O?Hare said. ?They showed a lot of heart and passion this weekend in the way they wrestled.?

The Trojans claimed three weight-division championships. Nicholas Mueller won at 135 pounds, Tyler Jones at 145 and Frankie Martin at 171.

Alex Jost (112) and Jacob Yoder (189) finished as the runner-up in their respective classes. Also qualifying with a top-four finish were Robby McClelland, fourth at 125, Grady Stultz, third at 152, and CJ Shaw, fourth at 285.

?This was the best performance by this team this season,? O?Hare said. ?They started off pretty well on Friday, but more importantly, they followed it up with solid performances on Saturday.

?I was very pleased to have five wrestlers advance to the championship match,? he added.

?By doing so, as a team, we jumped out to a pretty decent lead by the completion of matches on Friday. The question became whether or not we could come back Saturday to finish the deal.?

Hillsboro finished with 158 points to outdistance runner-up Wichita Independent with 130.5. Caney Valley was third at 125 and Marion fourth with 94 in the 21-school field.

Looking to state?Matches begin at the Class 3-2-1A state tournament at 10 a.m. Friday in Busch-Gross Coliseum on the campus of Fort Hays State University.

Following is a rundown of the eight Trojan qualifiers.

n Senior Alex Jost (23-12), making his second straight trip to Hays, will face John Redetzke (26-9) of Herington in the first round.

n Junior Robby McClelland (10-6) will wrestle Aaron Patton (15-2) of Wellsville in the opening match of his first state appearance.

n Junior Nicholas Mueller (35-4), who won his fifth tournament title of the season this past weekend, qualified for state for the second straight year. He will face Kevin Urban (17-13) of Ellis in the first round and is one win away from tying Andrew Bina?s school record for most wins in a single season.

n Junior Tyler Jones (31-4), also a qualifier for two consecutive years, has won three tournament titles this season and will face Josh Darnell (11-9) of Plainville in the first round at Hays.

n Senior Grady Stultz 24-10, competing for Goessel at state for the second consecutive year, will wrestle Travis Rempe (28-3) of Smith Center in the opening round.

n Senior Frankie Martin (33-8), a first-time state qualifier, will square off against Brett Melton (18-12) of Beloit in the first round.

n Senior Jacob Yoder (32-4) has qualified for three straight years. He set the school record for pins this past weekend at regionals. All four of his losses this year were to state-ranked wrestlers. He will face John Tricks (15-11) of Ellis in the first round.

n Senior CJ Shaw (21-13), making his first state appearance, will face Duane Zlatnik (40-1) of Rossville in the opening round.

?The goal this week in practice will be to continue to improve on some technique and to mentally focus on what they have to do at state,? O?Hare said. ?These eight guys need to be sure they are not content with just getting there, but understand that they have a great opportunity in front of them.?

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